A humanitarian aid convoy on its way to the Gaza Strip has been re-routed through Syria after it was turned away at the Gulf of Aqaba.The ‘Viva Palestina’ convoy consists of 250 vehicles including trucks, ambulances and buses filled with medical and school supplies for the people of Gaza.

This is the third Viva Palestina convoy to travel to Gaza since the Israeli invasion last year. British Parliament member George Galloway is leading the convoy, which includes four hundred fifty participants from a number of European and Arab countries.

It is one of two major convoys scheduled to enter Gaza this week, on the anniversary of Israel’s massive invasion one year ago. The other is the Gaza Freedom March, which is scheduled to cross into Gaza through the Rafah border crossing on Friday, with over 1400 participants from 42 countries.

Anton Abagama, who is a participant on the Viva Palestina convoy, told the IMEMC, “Egyptian authorities have given a very hostile reception to the convoy. They are not willing to negotiate, they are not willing to even think of any alternative. There have been many prime ministers, ex-prime ministers, and Members of Parliament who have contacted the Egyptian authorities on behalf of Viva Palestina. But to no avail. So now, we have to turn back to Syria, and hope we get through at Al-Arij….Egypt is being pressured from two sides: by Israel and by the US, to take the stand that they are taking.”